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Pump problems

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Lawnworks, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I have a client w/a waterfall that is having problems with pump. The pump is causing the breaker to flip everytime it is plugged in. I checked the fans and they spin freely... but everytime we plug it in... it spins and then flips the breaker. I tried different outlets with the same results. The pump is a Cal Pump 1/2hp. Any suggestions?
  2. LPS Pools

    LPS Pools LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Could be multiple things. Sounds like you pulled it out of the water and tried it? If not, do so and let it dry to eliminate a possible short. if it still doesn't work then, either the brushes or start windings or few other things on the motor are going out. Best solution is just to replace it. A cal pump this size isn't really expensive
  3. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    They have replaced this pump a few times... is Cal pump a good brand or is there a better one?
  4. XStream Aquatics

    XStream Aquatics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 239

    I've had the same problem a couple of times or so. In our cases it's been the bearings and if that's the case with you then you'll need to get a new pump.
  5. XStream Aquatics

    XStream Aquatics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 239

    That's a matter of opinions. Every installer will just about tell you a different pump brand that they like. I've never used cal so I wouldn't know, BUT I'm sure their are alot of people here that have.
  6. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    i personally stay away from CAL pump unless it is a small fountain pump.

    it sounds like you are talking about an external pump. if so there are far more superior pumps to the cal pump... probably cheaper to run too...
  7. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    So you say it's a Cal pump....is it a Torpedo? I know my supplier quit selling them do to the consistent 1 year failure rate.
  8. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    Mr. Works. there are many problems that could be happening but to a tained eye i believe its the breaker. Let me ask you first though how far is the pump from the pannel? if it is more then 100 feet you need to calculate voltage drop to up the wire size. what happens is that the impedance ratio exceeds the amount of current aloted for that size wire so a larger wire is needed. If it is longer then 100 foot or close to it here is the formula for figuring the wire size. Vd=2KxLxI/CM VD=Voltage drop, I=current, L=length, CM= Circular mills, K= resistance or Ohms (also the impedance of the circut.) IM going to assume you ran 12 wire since its quite standard for single phase motors in residential installations. the Circular mills for AWG #12 is 6530. -->if you think this is the problem which could be very likely you could yank the wires out and use 10 wire that will elimiate the neusance breaker tripping.

    secondly a 1/2hp is 373 watts. I believe it is a problem with amount of load on the breaker. The problem that arises is that the NEC (national electric code) states as a law that 8 receptacles are alloud on a circut. Odds are you don't know where each receptacle is on that circut where something could be constantly plugged in and once the pump switch is turned on draws more current then the breaker can handle so you're going to have to investigate and make sure nothing is on it which draws more then the amps alotted. A 20 amp breakers' instinaneous trip rating is only 80% which means a 20 amp breaker is only rated for 16 amps. and if somone plugs in a vaccum or whatever it will trip the breaker and vice versa with the pump. What i would do sir if i was you would be to investigae the breaker and possibly upgrade to a 30. instead of changing all the wires.

    746 watts = 1 hp.


    P=ExI, E=p/I, I=P/E

    good luck sir.
  9. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I don't think it is the breaker. It flipped a different breaker when I plugged it into another socket. I went ahead and ordered them another cal-pump... found a new one on ebay for $100. I looked at the one with the two year warranty "frogzilla" or whatever, but for the same flow it was about $400... not really justifiable.
  10. XStream Aquatics

    XStream Aquatics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 239

    I bet if you looked harder in actuallality the flows were different indeed. Look at the flow rates at specific head. Also look at the amp draw for each pump along with solid handling capabilities. Without looking up these pumps myself since I never use them I bet there's alot of difference especially $300 price difference.

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